WELCOME BACK SAMI
Defenceman Sami Salo skated with the team again today in Montreal after missing the last four games due to a groin injury.
He skated along side Alexander Edler and may possibly play on Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens, which would leave Nolan Baumgartner out.
Ryan Johnson did not play in the last game against the Toronto Maple Leafs but finds himself back in the lineup in place of Tanner Glass for tomorrow's game with Darcy Hordichuk and Rick Rypien.
HENRIK SHINES AS SECOND STAR
Canuck centre Henrik Sedin was named the National Hockey League’s second star for the month of January.
In the 13 games in January, Henrik recorded 25 points with six goals and 19 assists, and had a +14 rating.
This is the second time Henrik has been selected. He was chosen as first star for the month of December, where he also recorded 25 points (five goals, 20 assists).
Throughout January, Henrik assisted all three goals of Alex Burrow’s second consecutive hat trick against the Phoenix Coyotes on January 7, earned three points against the first place Chicago Blackhawks on January 23 (two goals, one assist), which led the team to a 5-1 win, and recorded another two points (one goal, one assist) against the Maple Leafs on Saturday helping the team come back after being down three goals.
He is second in the league for assists with 53, ninth in the league for goals with 25, and is tied for fourth in the league with an impressive +27 rating. Earlier this season, from December 22 to January 11, Sedin had a ten game point streak scoring 20 points.
With line mates Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows, Henrik continues to show that he can be a first line player and has played a large role in the teams seven consecutive wins, recording 14 points.
Alex Ovechkin from the Washington Capitals was named January’s first star and Tomas Vokoun from the Florida Panthers rounds out the monthly star selection.
After their last game against the Maple Leafs, Henrik has 78 points (25-53-78) and remains the league leader, two ahead of Ovechkin.
KESLER’S CONTRACT POSTPONED
The Province’s Jason Botchford offers details on the issue of Ryan Kesler’s contract negotiations, which aren’t going to continue until after the season.
The Canucks want to stay focused on their game and “are trying to avoid any distractions which can accompany in-season bargaining,” according to the story, which indicated that Kesler’s agent Kurt Overhardt isn’t that thrilled about these developments.
“It’s frustrating and it’s disappointing,” Overhardt told Botchford. “He’s a core player for the Canucks who brings his heart and soul every night. He puts it all on the ice. He’s a great teammate. He’s a warrior.”
Kesler allegedly wants to stay in Vancouver and is looking to be re-signed to a multi-year contract.
“I love it here, I really do,” Kesler told Botchford. “But it’s probably unrealistic to say I’m going to stay in the same spot forever. Obviously, I want to stay here for my whole career. Whatever happens, happens.”
Kesler is a restricted free agent, which leaves a very small chance that he would be with a team other than Vancouver next season, so the Canucks aren’t too worried, indicated Botchford.
Mason Raymond is also a restricted free agent and his contract will be negotiated after the season as well, same goes for Willie Mitchell, who will become unrestricted if the Canucks do not re-sign him by July 1.
The July 1 deadline causes a time crunch for the Canucks, but hopefully it won’t become a distraction for Kesler and the team.
”It wouldn’t be a distraction for me,” Kesler told Botchford. “My agent deals with that and comes to me when the time is right. But whatever they want to do, I’m just focused on playing hockey. That’s why I pay my agent.”
This season Kesler has been an integral part of the second line recording 48 points (13-35-48), including 14 points in the month of January (three goals, 11 assists).